Public Release: 

Oklahoma Water Symposium brings global water experts

Collaboration key to water challenge and sanitation

University of Oklahoma

NORMAN- Many people don't worry about turning on a faucet for a glass of clean water, so it may be hard to imagine that clean water is a luxury for about one-sixth of the world's population. In fact, the Water Technologies for Emerging Regions Center at the University of Oklahoma indicates that one child dies every 15 seconds because of a lack of clean water and adequate sanitation.

To help address this challenge, some of the world's leading experts in water sustainability and sanitation will gather on Friday, Sept. 26, at the 2014 Oklahoma Water Symposium to discuss the latest research and share their experiences in bringing water and sanitation to remote areas of emerging regions. The symposium, hosted by the WaTER Center and coordinated through the College of Engineering's School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, will be from 9 a.m. to noon in the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium, Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, on the OU Norman campus. The symposium is free and open to the public. The symposium will also be streamed online at

The panel will be comprised of six distinguished experts in a variety of water-related fields:

  • Emmanouil Anagnostou, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Northeast Utilities Endowed Chair and director of the environmental engineering program at the University of Connecticut
  • Braimah Apambire, director of the Center for International Water and Sustainability at the Desert Research Institute
  • Rafael Callejas, executive director of the Millennium Water Alliance
  • Jenna Davis, associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Higgins-Magid Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University
  • Pawan Labhasetwar, senior principal scientist and head of the Water Technology and Management Division at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute in Nagpur, India
  • Jan Willem Rosenboom, senior program officer in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Strategy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

During the panel discussion, the OU WaTER Center will announce the recipient of the fourth OU International Water Prize. The prize recognizes and honors an individual or group that has made significant contributions in the field of water supply and sanitation, particularly for small villages and communities in rural or remote regions of the world. The 2012 winner was community development activist Ada Oko-Williams from Nigeria, Africa.

The symposium is open to the public, but registration is required for catering purposes. For more details about the symposium and to register, visit For accommodations on the basis of disability, call (405) 325-9037.


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